Thursday 19 April 2018

Inspired planting: Plants meet romance for Valentine's

Plants meet romance as garden designer Leonie Cornelius makes a Valentine's arrangement

Leonie Cornelius's Valentine's arrangement
Leonie Cornelius's Valentine's arrangement
String of hearts plant

Leonie Cornelius

Plant of the week in focus: String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) A trailing plant with pretty heart-shaped leaves.

From bursting-with-colour bouquets to small gift-wrapped trees, nothing shows love and appreciation as much as giving a floral or growing gift. So given it's Valentine's Day, I've created a display for your dinner table - or a last-minute gift for your loved one - which uses cut flowers as well as a mix of succulents, and is guaranteed to brighten the home and put a smile on everyone's face.

I love the South African string of hearts plant (Ceropegia woodii) for Valentine's Day. The String of Hearts is an evergreen trailing plant and grows easily and quickly in almost all conditions indoors, particularly in hanging baskets.

It likes dry soil and will grow well in cactus soil. They like full to partial sunshine so don't place them in a dark corner of the house. Interestingly, the leaves develop a pretty purple tint to the underside when housed in slightly milder locations such as a cooler windowsill.

This plant needs next to no maintenance. The 'if in doubt, don't water' rule applies to String of Hearts - it will definitely appeal to anyone who has little time on their hands for plant care.

I love the idea of re-purposing items, so to make my Valentine's display I used a small timber jewellery box as a planter. The roses are arranged in florist's oasis at the base of the box. I made sure the oasis was well watered before placing it in because the succulents won't like as much water as the roses.

After placing these - and my conveniently heart-shaped cactus - into the box, I added in a selection of succulents in their pots. I chose ones with shapes that echo the roses beside them, becoming almost like a succulent bouquet.

There's a fantastic selection of succulents available from Johnstown Garden centre, which can also be ordered online at

To finish it off I added in some moss around the plants wherever the soil was exposed and finally, my feature plant this week, the String of Hearts. The shapes of the leaves are a subtle way of referencing the day that's in it without being too obvious.


Irish Independent

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